This summer (Canada) has been a nightmare

Why I haven't posted much lately.
This summer (Australia's winter) has been a nightmare for us.

At first I thought it was only us, but after speaking with others, it seems to be a lot of it going around. Remember checking on tenants is not the same here.There is no centralised database (Rob is trying to make one now for local landlords)Insurance is not available for any tenant damage or arrears. We are permitted 2 weeks rent as bond. We must wait until 30 days in arrears, then give 15 days notice, and wait for a hearing..4-6 weeks away.We are starting to be proactive. We give notice and hearing dates at the same time now. If we need to cancel (yeah right) a hearing, we lost $29. Tenants seem to think a lease is only a contract when they want something from the landlord, but not when they want break the lease or live rent free.

For the most part we do our own repairs and maintenance while home in Canada for these 4 months. This year, we haven't had the time.We have a carpenter who is competant, and inexpensive.
Our long term building supers informed us they were retiring.They are both now in their 70's and wanted to relax and bought their own home.We advertised for the position, and one of our current tenants at another property applied for it.He was in his 60's, divorced, and had been a professional when he was employed. The mental state is something that takes time to establish. Within 2 weeks we knew he wasn't the one.During this time we continued our search.Long story short, we were bringing in the police trying to take back control of our apt building from this superintendant.Our carpenter (who is also the nephew of our retiring supers) and his wife are our new supers, and we are calm again.

Before we arrived home, we knew one property had a woman who breached her lease, and had increased her cats from 3 to 15.She also demolished the furnished rental, and everything had to be discarded.She had nailed windows shut,and lots of other stuff.She also had mental problems, as we had complaints she had been entering neighbours homes without permission.She is gone. The place is back to normal, and we put in a new tenant last week.

Tenants being late for rent is nothing new.One particular tenant was consistantly late, but always paid within 30 days.His lease was coming up for renewal.We decided not to renew, and gave notice.We showed the mobile home to an applicant, as she was looking for a 3 bedroom. When we arrived, we knew something was wrong. One doorlock had been changed (door also) but the other door was still accessible. Our 3 bedroom mobile stank of dog urine, cigarette smoke, and the ceiling was collapsing in the back bedroom. He had removed a supporting wall and was in the middle of turning the 2 smaller bedrooms in a larger room.Wires were hanging. We were beyond words. We called the police. They refuse to come, because it is a tenant issue. We call the Residential tenancy Officer and stated we are evicting the tenant now, and declaring the property uninhabitable. She says to allow tenant access to medication and to remove their belongings. Over the next 5 days we attended while he removed everything.We bring in our carpenter to put it back together for rental.Damage is $5k.Rental arrears $900.We were awarded rent, and $200 for the damage. We are appealing.

Another tenant moves into a property. Pays bond and has a payment schedule for the first month. This is not unusual, many landlords do this.She misses first scheduled payment. When we arrive at the property, there is someone ahead of us dropping off garbage on the lawn. Seems her old landlord spent the previous 2 hours sorting and bagging it.I start speaking with this woman, and find out lots of useful information on our dear tenant. She was also duped.She received one month rent, and tenant left water running when she left, which flooded, and did damage. We decide to break lease. Tenant has already breached lease, so we issue 5 day notice to quit.She doesn't leave. Water is not included in lease, so a day after her scheduled eviction, we have the town disconnect it.Next thing we know, the cops, town council, RTA, are all calling us and demanding we turn it on. NO WAY. According to the RTA we are required to mitigate our loss. Never being able to collect the money from the water bill, is doing just that. She is still in our property with 3 kids, without any running water...6 weeks later.We tried to show the property to applicants, and she tries to strangle Rob. Cops called.Seems even when we act within the RTA for showing a property, the criminal code steps in, and Rob was liable for criminal charges because the tenant said no. Cops called last night, and decided to not charge either the tenant or Rob. The tenant does admit to strangling Rob at the RTA hearing though.Tenant grandfather was with her. We offered to allow her to move in 2 days, and owe us nothing. She said she needed more time...6 weeks more. NO! After back and forth, we said we would compromise if the grandfather co-signed the lease and paid the rental arrears. She could stay. He refused. We don't know the outcome of hearing yet (it is mailed). Tenant has now served us for compensation of no water, moving expenses, and discomfort. She was able to get her hearing in 2 weeks . WTF. Oh, we countered, we want immediate eviction.

Another tenant wants to break lease and move in with b/f. No problem. Sublease for the 2 months. Nope.She thinks that's unfair, and has decided to say it was now health issues, and because the building is unsafe.During her hearing she says her apartment is above average in cleanliness...except we had taken a picture that day of her dirty fridge, stove, and thick blanket of dust on ceiling fan. The Director couldn't find against us there, but tenant had a picture of peeling paint on a part of the wall in the laundry room (by dryer vent).She was permitted to break lease. We have appealed. Her doctors letter states her health has improved since leaving the building...except on the night of the appeal, she was home recovering from kidney infection, and couldn't make it. Rescheduled.....only confirms we are not her problem.

Another applicant in the middle of a separation with partner. She and her kids view the property several times in one day and they are all very excited.Comes back and signs lease and 90 minutes later wants to break lease. Her kids are supposedly crying and don't want move. We issue a letter stating she can sublet. Next day she has a doctors letter. The property is making her ill. Her asthma is making it hard for her to breathe.She provides a one months notice to quit. We visit her doctor, and have her fill out another paper for our defence. Seems we have't been the cause for any significant deterioration..she hasn't even moved in...Hearing is in a couple of weeks.When we served her for the hearing...she is still living with partner. Maybe that is the real reason she doesn't want to move?

Another couple move in July 1. Pay most rent in cash, with $150 in a cheque. Cheque bounces 3 times.Then we isue them an eviction, unless they pay. Yesterday we inform we are keeping the hearing, they had better show up. We will be getting their payment schedule in writing, and if they default we will have it enforced with the sheriff. Female is not permitted to provide cheques, he must have cheques drawn on his bank account. She had rented from us, had a friend fill out forms to receive welfare. Welfare contacted us, and we worked with them. Welfare cancelled, and now she has obtained a job.They told us she has a history of not paying rent.Good thing male partner has a good paying job.

Another tenant moved in mid July. Paid security and rent. We spoke to him several times over the course of 2 weeks. When rent day came, he informed us of the massive growth of mold. I ask if he wants to terminate his lease, and says maybe.Only thing is, there wasn't any when we attended 20 minutes later. He then went to welfare and asked for money.They called us. We stated in our opinion there wasn't any mold. He was denied.He is angry now. Has gone to our local newspaper and reporter views a water stain (3 years old at least) on the vynil tub surround in the bathroom.When we arrived to file for a hearing, tenant is already ahead of us in line. He wants immediate termination of lease. Great ! We are asking to immediately terminate his lease, if it is as bad as he is claiming.This way he can get compensation thru his tenant's insurance he is required to obtain. Oh wait...he didn't buy it.No free money for him.Tenant tells the newspaper reporter how bad we are, how hard we are to deal with. We won't do any repairs etc. Newspaper article doesn't put us in a very good light. We then go to reporter and provide him with the information the tenant clearly forgot to mention. He won't permit us access, even with the police presence. We had contacted the building health inspector the day we first arrived in front of the tenant. They will only do an inspection when a tenant requests it. The report arrived yesterday, and any visiable mold around window frame is to be wiped with water and dish detergent. There isn't any...but report is carefully worded, to included any that is seen.

This goes on and on...probably another 10 examples of dead beat tenants.
The garbage the tenants leave behind is unreal. Most tenants don't take any refuse to curb, so it is $100s of dollars to remove ($700 was the highest for one family ..after evicting them 5 months after moving in)

We have had it with the incompetant resident tenancy officer. We have in writing to her superior, to request her removed from hearing any of our cases. We will know the result in a couple of weeks.
We have delayed our travel plans by a month, because it would be too much for our supers.

Many landlords would have done nothing, and moved on.
We are not the norm.
If a tenant is breaching,we call them on it.
We may never get any money, but we will ruin their credit for the next 20 years.
I have also contacted other landlords informing them about very troublesome tenants, knowing we may be stuck with the tenant longer. I don't want any other landlord to go thru this.
The system needs an overhaul.

Hopefully next summer will be better.
This has been stressful.
Looks like you are operating at the absolute bottom end of the rental market. Where you get these type of tenants and associated problems.

Can you move up the rental-socio calendar and get away from this stuff.

Are you surprised by these types of people at this demographic?
Looks like you are operating at the absolute bottom end of the rental market. Where you get these type of tenants and associated problems.

Can you move up the rental-socio calendar and get away from this stuff.

Are you surprised by these types of people at this demographic?

We are not surprsied by the actions of the tenants.
If they were responsible, they would own their own homes. It is much cheaper here to own, than rent.

Most of our tenants are complying with their lease.They pay rent on time, and let us know when something needs repaired.

It's been the attitude of the Residential Tenancy Board and Officer that is compounding the problem. We are waiting 4-6 weeks to get a hearing, and up to 3 weeks to get a decision, which we then need to appeal. This means another 4 weeks of waiting..then a further 3-4 weeks for a decision etc.
This is why we have made requests to have the Director removed and also complained about the waiting time.

Not having the ability of removing non-paying tenants quickly is frustrating.Even living without running water is acceptable with them.

Between that, we have been renovating and updating 10 properties this summer.Hoping to attract a "better quality" and raising rent above the "lower socio economic" rate. If someone does not have a job, we now require a co-signer.

Most of our tenants all have jobs..except maybe 3. They are looking for all loopholes they can, to delay paying. Then they move on to the next landlord. It's like it is a game for them. At the moment they are winning. When they settle down and want to buy a house, they will then pay their interest laden bill to us.

I just need to whinge a bit..and Somersoft is a great place to vent.
So I do appreciate that :)
they are some awful stories.

Surprised dazz hasn't been here yet, talking up commercial.

These issues, are they make in the scheme of things, what proportion of your portfolio are we talking?
You should sell everything and move to Australia.
Why are you there freezing your tits off and putting up with riff raff tenants?
Hi Kathryn

The idea of a tenancy database sounds great

Whats the legalaties around it though?


Tenants have to sign an authority when commencing a tenancy to be listed

Privacy laws

We have about 40 tenants at any given time.
About 20% have been a real pain this summer, in varying degrees.
Some properties we kept vacant to do renovations on for a month or so.

This is actually what we live on. We live in Canada in the summer, and Australia in the summer :)
Our tenants are always riff raft, this year there seems to be something in the water.

Not sure of the legalities. It would be available to landlords, property managers.
Requiring a court judgement against a tenant might be all we need.
It wouldn't be much different than calling a landlord and asking for a reference.
We already require our tenants to sign, giving us permission. We would suggest to other landlords to add it to their leases.

At the moment it is a bit informal..we email and ask if anyone knows "this tenant"..or they will state "if you rent to this tenant they will not pay" etc.
Very sure about the legalities

The applicant tenant represents that the information provided in this application is true and correct.
By submitting this application form the applicant tenant gives irrevocable permission for Dockrey Apartments or their agent(s) to obtain consumer credit report about them, to contact previous landlords to obtain information about previous tenancies, to contact agencies that provide landlord information, to contact references, and to take other reasonable steps necessary to assess this Rental Application, or for any renewal or associated tenancy issue including disclosure of information from this rental application and information arising from any tenancy to a database of tenant information.
The applicant tenant hereby offers to lease from Dockrey Apartments the property referred to above at the terms stated and if accepted, undertake to execute a standard form of lease for the property.
The applicant tenant indicates agreement with all conditions of Dockrey Apartments application form, the property rules and standard form of lease.
Surprised dazz hasn't been here yet, talking up commercial.

Turn it up.

Unlike some clueless hapless investors who get on here and bleat and whinge whilst having no idea what the hell they are doing, both Kathryn and Bob are very savvy investors and know what they are doing.

I've read their very detailed policies and they are impressive, and are indicative of people who have done the hard yards and been smart enough to impliment lessons can see it's a rolling document, each line has been a drama lived thru.

Huge respect to both Kathryn and Bob. No respect to matto for his silly sideline jab.
Unlike some clueless hapless investors who get on here and bleat and whinge whilst having no idea what the hell they are doing, both Kathryn and Bob are very savvy investors and know what they are doing.

Yep I have followed their stories for a while, been through their websites looking at the properties they have accumulated, it is impressive.

When you are dealing with 40-60 properties, a percentage of deadbeat problem tenants is always going to be there, its just multiplied by the size of their holdings. If they had 6 properties and 6 tenants all doing this, you would question what they were doing!

Sorry to hear your run of deadbeats Kathryn, you will get through it as always. You should organise a meetup if you are in Sydney next local summer.

PS I sometimes pull the dazz haha silly resi line, but its always tongue in cheek :) . Eventually I want to be mainly commercial too, what Dazz has done is equally as impressive as Kat and Bob.
Thank you everyone for the kind words.
Sometimes we just seem to be getting from all sides.

Generally we take people at face value, even though this year, I have disqualified a few, after getting their landlords to answer "would you rent to them again" and saying it's ok to say no.

Take the mum with 3 kids.
She lies on her application. The person she gave as a landlord was not her landlord. It was when we saw a woman dropping off garbage, we realised she had lied on her application. That was when we tried to mitigate our loss, and get rid of the problem. She is a professional tenant, and must have been a bit surprised when we didn't wait the obligatory 30 days to start eviction.
What surprised us, was the length she was willing to go, by contacting town council, town water, cops, RTA..and they are taking her side !!
The only bit of encouragement we did get, was when at the hearing, tenant said her town councillor stated another landlord had done this previously, and there was nothing illegal about it. Our lease to her does not include water.The town has a bylaw that the water bill must be in the property owner.(because they had so many tenants not pay the water bill)
I fully expect this same Residential tenancy Officer to rule against us.We will appeal, of course, but that just means this same tenant is living rent free in a 3 bedroom house.There is no way we will ever collect the debt, until someone leaves her money (her grandfather).

"Mold" is the big thing at the moment. Tenants think if they claim that, it is a "get out of lease". It seems our Residential tenancy officer is agreeing with them. The other is the medical form. Even the Residential tenancy Officer stated to us, they usually accept it, with no questions asked. It must really pi** her off when we won't. We have the right to question the doctor in their office, which we did, and we also have the right to subpeona them...which we will, if needed.

If we wait for a good tenant to come along in these towns, we would be 100% empty (especially in one particular town) It has a welfare mentality, and the landlords have been passing them around like a hot potato.
We think it is time to teach them some manners.

We had a tenant a couple of years ago. Owes us $1000 approx. Just before the time expired where we could serve for a hearing, we serve her.Last year we were awarded. We gave her months to comply, and she did make a couple of payments, then stopped. We told her if she doesn't finish the payments we will have it enforced by the Sheriff, and it will cost her a lot more. She ignored us. A couple of days ago, she emails us and is very irate.We told her "you were told the sheriff would add on his costs and interest".

At the moment we have 17 cases before the courts.(or have just been)
Many are different tenants for the same property. We have a year to file, and sometimes we wait that long...for various reasons.
So sorry to hear about this Bob/Kathryn, and it doesn't sound like you are getting much (if any) support from the places you should be.

I don't know what to offer, an ear? like everyone else? stay strong, keep at the system to help you more, do their job, ALL of it! I know how hard you guys have worked and worked and worked to build all this, I am so sorry to hear you are having this awful time.

Do some *7$%@####*##ing if it helps too.
...if it is any help? I will be back in the States soon, I think up near border, but Vancouver side, have a feeling you might be further along, inland, I have a week (at this time) spare, could I come help clean, cart garbage, paint, or form a posse or something??
...if it is any help? I will be back in the States soon, I think up near border, but Vancouver side, have a feeling you might be further along, inland, I have a week (at this time) spare, could I come help clean, cart garbage, paint, or form a posse or something??

Vancouver is similar to being close as Perth is to Brisbane
We appreciate the offer though
Things are just starting to settle down, on the physical "cleaning" side. It is more having to continue several times to court with the same tenant/issue.

We are too stubborn to give up.It may be us to makes things change around here. Tomorrow we have another hearing with this same Officer. She has disallowed all of the labour component from our carpenter, because when she calls the phone number, they don't answer with their Company Name. Tomorrow we will say something about it. These meetings are informal enough we can get away with it.

These tenants might win a few battles, but they won't win the war.
With all these issues with recalcitrant tenants, you still must be making a nice profit with the remaining trouble free 80% of tenants to keep sustaining you.

What sort of returns do you get with that high level of problem tenants?
Jeeze, makes you realise Aus is maybe not that bad to be a landlord in.

We may have some all mighty head butts over some things but I do respect all the hard work you do.
Jeeze, makes you realise Aus is maybe not that bad to be a landlord in.

We may have some all mighty head butts over some things but I do respect all the hard work you do.

Well put Ideo, I've never felt so damn fortunate here in ole Oz. I really, really feel for Rob and Kath and all that hard yards...

If wishes of support were action in the right places, you have my bestest wishes guys.
We had a bit of good luck today.
The tenant hearing we had today, we cancelled.
We went to her bank on the off chance the cheques she gave us would cash...and they did!!! ($1136.25) The monthly Child Tax benefits were deposited in people's accounts today. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when she goes to access her account.